Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Sports Medley NFL Follies 14 Dec 2015

by Tony Medley

If I were coach: I would bar my quarterback from any form of contact in the event of a turnover. Andy Dalton is only the latest quarterback knocked out for the season trying to make a tackle. He’s the best player on the team, a team that had the possibility of making the Super Bowl. Now, without Dalton (who broke his thumb on his throwing hand trying to make a tackle) they will be lucky to hang on and make the playoffs. Was that tackle worth it? Even if it saved a touchdown, was it worth it? Even if it won the game, was it worth it to lose your best player for the rest of the season? The New York Giants would probably say yes, but anyone with at least half a brain would say no. So I would tell my quarterbacks (especially if he’s Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers) if there’s a fumble or an interception, run, don’t walk, the other way.

Another reason to keep the NFL out of Los Angeles: Earlier in the season Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict injured Steeler running back Le’Veon Bell, putting him out for the season, and seemed to celebrate afterwards. Steeler linebacker Vince Williams tweeted after the game, “I catch Vontaze Burfict on South Beach I’m painting that boi on sight.”

After a pre-game bench-clearing brawl between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati on Sunday, Bengals left tackle Andre Whitworth castigated the NFL, saying, “It’s the NFL’s fault. I love the Pittsburgh Steelers and I love Mike Tomlin but they had a player who made a death threat to one of ours after the last game, about spilling his blood in the street and everyone saw it and the NFL did nothing about it. So they allow that kind of animosity and that kind of thing around. If it were any kind of other issue they would step up because people would like for them to do it. But in this issue they blew by it and tried to let it go. But the bottom line is the tweet was sent out. Everyone saw it. It’s on Roger Goodell and the NFL. They should have done something; they should have stepped up. They should have made sure that players know that that kind of attitude, that kind of character is not involved in the league. That’s their fault. It’s on their head.”

In fact, Whitworth is right on the mark. The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy prohibits “actual or threatened physical violence against another person.” So why the silence? The NFL is brimming over with thugs and domestic abusers. Its failure to take action against Williams is just another piece of evidence pointing to the vacuity of the NFL’s morality.

If I were commissioner: I would ban the sticky gloves worn by receivers. Odell Beckham, Jr. has made some amazing catches, but at least one of them, the now iconic one handed touchdown grab against Dallas, would not have been possible without the sticky gloves. The league outlawed the stickum that Fred Belitnikoff used to make many of his catches. Raiders’ defensive back Lester Hayes allegedly would put nine pounds of it on his body and it helped him lead the league in interceptions with 13. After stickum was banned in 1981, Hayes never got more than four interceptions. Today’s sticky gloves should go into oblivion with stickum.

Don’t pull on Superman’s cape: CBS televised a tribute honoring Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday consisting of today’s vocalists singing some of Frank’s better known songs to the same arrangements Nelson Riddle and others wrote for Frank. Although Riddle’s brilliant arrangements greatly enhanced his performances, Sinatra’s genius wasn’t in the songs themselves. It was in the way he handled a lyric, with love and tenderness. When Sinatra sang, each word was important. All the CBS show did for me was to emphasize how unique Sinatra was, and how these people singing the songs he sang didn’t come close to measuring up. I turned it off after only a couple of tunes and put on Frank’s 1956 “Songs for Swingin’ Lovers” album to hear the real thing.